At HEC Paris, mvlti svnt vocati, pavci vero electi!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I am back...14142 miles later!

Sawatdee Khrab! Was it amazing or what? India is a familiar location for me but Thailand just never stopped amazing me! When I saw the network of roads from air, I knew Thailand was going to be very different from what I had visualised. Bangkok is highly developed which, for unknown reasons, surprised me! The airport was just like any other other airport in western Europe or the US, if not better. Even the English announcement on Thai Air had an American accent. Despite this development, the Thais are still very friendly people and ever ready to help a lost citizen. I say citizen because I was always confused for a tall Thai with people often initiating discussions in Thai! Well, at least until I utter my first few words. :-) As soon as I landed, I took a taxi straight to my friend's apartment in Sukhumvit Suite and, following a quick shower and change of clothes (BKK was 33°C), I headed out for the river front. I then took a boat to the Golden Mount stop followed by a few hours of walking visiting various temples and historical sites. I returned to the apartment in what has become the symbol of Thailand, a Tuk-Tuk (autoriksaw in India). On the second day, I took the SkyTrain to Siam centre, in the heart of the city for a walk about and then a motorcycle taxi to the Oriental Pier. From there, I headed up north, along with a zillion other tourists, on a boat to Thien Pier to visit Wat Po, the temple of the reclining Buddha. I visited so many temples in Thailand I would hope that my sins have been cleared! Walking through China town and Little India, I went past the Statue of Rama I at the Phra Buddha Yodfa Memorial Bridge and then right up to the top of the Golden Mount - if you are in Bangkok, you ought to as the view is just breathtaking - before walking back to Siam centre. Got long legs so might as well make the best use of them. In the afternoon, I headed back to the centre and stayed there until late evening watching a concert/fashion show right by Siam Paragon mall. In all this time, my travel guide was a free map from the Amex counter at Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).

Early next morning, I flew to Chiang Mai to spend a couple of days with my cousin and his family (the lady at the check-in counter seemed rather surprised when I asked if Chiang Mai was north or south of Bangkok but I had done no preparation at all for this trip!). My sister-in-law showed me around on the first day and took me shopping at the local Sunday market and then the night market - as a Thai speaker, she did most of the bargaining! If there is anything you want, you will most probably find it in Thailand. I promised that I will buy nothing on this trip but the temptation of 'cheap' goods was just too much - I ended up buying quite a bit for my family, and a laptop for myself. C'mon, I will need a brand new laptop for HEC Paris, right? :-) On the second day, I walked around Chiang Mai and, after lunch, we headed up to Wat Phra Borommathat Doi Suthep, the temple on top of a hill over-looking Chiang Mai. Another sin cleared.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Thailand - the buddhist temples, the people, the general environment, the sites, and most of all, the food. I could live out there, if only I can convince my wife to follow suit. :-) Now, enjoy the pictures from Thailand!

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home


free tracking